How I Packed For Tahiti In A 21-Inch Bag

When I first found out we were going to Tahiti (click here for that info!), it seemed like a million years away, but the time has come! We are HERE – squeal! After doing a good bit of research, I realized we were going to be on some tiny planes going island-to-island in the coming days, so I wanted to pack in the most compact way possible. See also: carry on only for this chronic over-packer. Initially I was really nervous about fitting 8 days worth of clothing into a carry on, but after a quick assessment of what I want to pack and a little help from my new Genius Pack – I feel majorly confident. This post was alternately titled “Confessions Of An Over Packer: A Memoir On Regarding Carry On Luggage”. Somehow that was too long, so here we go…How I Packed For Tahiti In A 21-Inch Bag!

How I Packed For Tahiti In A 21-Inch Bag - How To Travel With Only A Carry On - Tips For Packing - Travel Packing - Packing Light For Vacation - Communikait by Kait Hanson

Carry-On Bag | c/o Genius Pack

How I Packed For Tahiti In A 21-Inch Bag - How To Travel With Only A Carry On - Tips For Packing - Travel Packing - Packing Light For Vacation - Communikait by Kait Hanson

How I Packed For Tahiti

I know that the majority of our trip is going to be spent in the sun or in the water, so packing a lot of “real” clothes didn’t make a lot of sense to me. That said, we do plan on exploring a bit here and it’s also their rainy season, so I wanted options in case of gloomy weather.

How I Packed For Tahiti In A 21-Inch Bag - How To Travel With Only A Carry On - Tips For Packing - Travel Packing - Packing Light For Vacation - Communikait by Kait Hanson

In all I have:

6 bathing suits (no regrets on this one – it’s what I’ll be wearing every day!)

2 swimsuit cover-ups

8 pairs of undies, 3 bras

5 pairs of socks (I plan on working out most days)

5 workout outfits (shorts/tanks/sports bras)

3 pairs of shorts

6 tops/tanks

5 dresses

2 jumpsuits

1 pair of pants

3 pairs of shoes

1 GoPro

1 Mavic Pro drone

1 Nikon

2 books

1 box of RX Bars

Toiletry Bag

Makeup + haircare tools

A hat

Various electronics cords + a computer

How I Packed For Tahiti In A 21-Inch Bag - How To Travel With Only A Carry On - Tips For Packing - Travel Packing - Packing Light For Vacation - Communikait by Kait Hanson

A peek inside my toiletry bag here: Traveling Toiletry Bag Must Haves

People – COLOR ME AMAZED, BUT I STILL HAVE ROOM TO SPARE! I rolled all of my underwear for the pouch, and slid the bras in on top. I rolled all my swimsuit bottoms together and then stacked the tops beside them. The workout outfits were the trickiest, because they seemed to take up the most room. I rolled all the tops and shorts, even though I initially thought that stacking them would be the most efficient space-wise. Not so! The cover-ups, shorts and tops also got rolled and then when I was finished, I laid the pants and a pair of jean shorts flat on top before zippering off that side.

How I Packed For Tahiti In A 21-Inch Bag - How To Travel With Only A Carry On - Tips For Packing - Travel Packing - Packing Light For Vacation - Communikait by Kait Hanson

I’ll be honest – it felt really good rolling up to the airport without looking like a scene straight out of The Beverly Hillbillies (Clampett car, anyone?!) and I have every single thing I wanted to take. Thanks to that that handy checklist printed on every Genius Pack suitcase, I didn’t forget anything I needed either (including a last-minute headphone grab)…whew! Sometimes when I go on vacation I always have this “well what if I get cold/hot/want to dress up/want to do my hair…when the reality is that I never have those thoughts and usually whatever I pack is more than enough. Knowing I had to fit every single thing I brought into one bag was a fun challenge for me in way and Dane got a real kick out of seeing me sweat it out a little bit. He has always been a carry-on only kind of guy, so avoiding the circus of baggage claim makes him giddy on a level that I’m incapable of putting into words. I think he may have said the words “See – isn’t this much easier?”

How I Packed For Tahiti In A 21-Inch Bag - How To Travel With Only A Carry On - Tips For Packing - Travel Packing - Packing Light For Vacation - Communikait by Kait Hanson

I don’t want to speak too soon, but I may have turned over a new leaf. Though I’ll be perfectly honest in saying that I do miss the full-size conditioner I usually travel with (my hair likes what it likes, okay?) When you go on vacation do you carry on or check your bag?

November 17, 2017

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  • Jen

    I’m all about packing in the most effective way possible. I usually let Kyle roll everything (thank you Army for teaching him that haha) and he can get the most space out of a tiny suitcase.

    • I won’t even try to sugar coat it — I’m so impressed with myself! The rolling technique is KEY! I had Dane help me organize it so that it all fit and I was terrified security was going to make me remove all my electronics at the line, but thankfully we made it through and I could breathe, LOL! And the plus – no lost luggage!